passports, that rules out many opposition figures and let's speak to a professor of middle east and politics and relations at the london school of economics and good to have you with us. the u.s. of course has condemned the planned presidential election in syria as a parody of democracy. what is in it for president assad? >> well, i mean, it's not just the u.s., widespread condemnation of the decision, the u.n., the european union, the americans, basically question the rationality and the wisdom of the holding of presidential elections, first what do you do with almost 9 million syrians who are refugees or displaced? how do you basically account for the votes? holding presidential elections would mean the end of any political process would mean the end of geneva two and even though geneva two now is basically almost paralyzed.